The Role of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Cardiovascular Disease Risk: a Review with Emphasis on Plausible Mechanisms

Shaoyong Su, Marcia P. Jimenez, Cole T.F. Roberts, Eric B. Loucks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

40 Scopus citations


Childhood adversity, characterized by abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, is a problem that exerts a significant impact on individuals, families, and society. Growing evidence suggests that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with health decline in adulthood, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the current review, we first provide an overview of the association between ACEs and CVD risk, with updates on the latest epidemiological evidence. Second, we briefly review plausible pathways by which ACEs could influence CVD risk, including traditional risk factors and novel mechanisms. Finally, we highlight the potential implications of ACEs in clinical and public health. Information gleaned from this review should help physicians and researchers in better understanding potential long-term consequences of ACEs and considering adapting current strategies in treatment or intervention for patients with ACEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 21 2015



  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Depression
  • Intervention
  • Risky behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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